Artificial intelligence is all around us and has been for quite some time. Virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa have been a mainstay in the personal lives of millions of people, but only recently has new artificial intelligence technology fully taken over daily work tasks.
Write marketing plans, evaluate prospect data, conduct competitive research, and generate written and visual content. These are all things that AI can now do, though not perfectly (yet).
Here are five things you can do right now to determine how you should and shouldn’t use AI to achieve your marketing goals.
Demystify artificial intelligence for yourself and others
If you hesitate to try the new artificial intelligence tools directly, wait no more. It’s one thing to talk about artificial intelligence, and it’s quite another when you experience first-hand how it can help you in your work.
First of all, remember that the term “artificial intelligence” is used to describe various marketing tools.
The following list includes some technologies that have been around for years (for example, chatbots) but are now increasing their capabilities as new advancements are released:
Predictive analytics: This type of AI uses data and algorithms to predict future outcomes, such as which customers are most likely to make a purchase.
Natural Language Processing (PLN): PLN analyzes and understands human language, allowing marketers to understand customer sentiment and intent better.
Chatbots: Chatbots are AI-powered tools that can communicate with customers in real-time, providing personalized support and assistance.
Image and video recognition: This technology uses deep learning algorithms to analyze images and videos, which can be used to identify products in photos shared on social media.
Generative AI – This type of AI can create content, such as blog posts or social media updates, in seconds.
ChatGPT and OpenAI’s DALL.E 2 are top-rated generative AI tools that you can use to create text and images. However, you can choose from thousands of AI platforms to get started. As a best practice, always avoid entering sensitive information about yourself, your company, and your customers when using any free tool.
Don’t start using these tools to run your business until you understand how they work and the implications for your team. In addition to educating yourself, you’ll also need to educate others in your organization about the opportunities and pitfalls that artificial intelligence can bring to marketing efforts.
Audit your current MarTech stack
This task should be a combined effort that begins with your marketing and technology teams and then continues with your sales and customer service teams to gain a complete understanding of the capabilities of AI throughout the customer journey. Your current MarTech stack already has some level of AI capabilities. Conducting an audit will help you see the baseline of the AI functionality you currently have available. It will allow you to make better decisions about how to use each system and justify upgrading existing systems, replacing them, or adding new integrations.
The audit output can take many forms: It can be as detailed or as simple as needed. The goal is to have a way to document each available tool and quickly know if it has capabilities that will help your team do their job more efficiently. The result of the audit must include at least the following:
A complete inventory of all your marketing technology tools: This includes content creation, customer relationship management, email marketing, events, paid media, project management, social media, SEO/SEM, and website management.
Quick statistics on each tool. Tracks administrators, available licenses, cost, business purpose, and how often each system is used (daily, monthly, etc.).
Capabilities, including the newest artificial intelligence features. It specifies which features are the most beneficial and which would be helpful but are currently missing. You can note the system’s ability to generate content, catch and fix errors, automate tasks, make data predictions, etc.
An evaluation of the effectiveness of each tool: Evaluate if the tool meets your performance expectations, aligns with your overall marketing strategy, and generates positive ROI for your team.
Use this as a starting point to determine the current state of your marketing technology. Then assess if and how new AI features can help your business stay efficient and competitive.
Invest in people first, technology second
Successful organizations aren’t replacing marketers with new AI technology; they are using it to improve job performance and enhance employee experience.
Supporting employees with quality professional development is critical to leading a modern marketing team. As newer AI models take over, your workforce must adapt and grow. You must give your team adequate time and training to enable them to improve how they use marketing tools in daily operations continually. Have conversations with the people on your team about how they feel about technology, specifically artificial intelligence.
As new marketing platforms are introduced daily, it’s easy to be convinced to invest in shinier, newer, or more popular systems. Remember that any tool is only as good as the person using it. If you decide to upgrade your systems, upgrade your employee development.
Rethink your internal processes
AI continues to change how organizations conduct business at a fast pace. Suppose you continue to run internal operations with a “business as usual” mentality. In that case, you will lose the efficiency factor that will help you achieve your business goals faster.
Smart leaders are enabling teams to use artificial intelligence to take over tedious and time-consuming tasks, allowing employees to spend more time on strategy and creativity.
Gartner recently predicted that “by 2025, organizations using artificial intelligence in the marketing function will shift 75% of their operational activities from production to more strategic activities.”
For example, many companies already use generative artificial intelligence in their creative process. Generative AI tools can write first drafts of blog posts. However, humans still need to write proper directions for the topic’s direction, ensure everything is correct, and do a final edit before it goes live. People are still an essential part of the process. Still, artificial intelligence saves hours in the production schedule by speeding up the initial phases of work.
To find efficiencies within your marketing operations, start by mapping out the most time-consuming internal marketing processes. In most cases, you will find pain points that AI automation tools can help solve. Things like:
- Data entry.
- Transcription of recordings.
- Write the first drafts of the text.
- Create a team schedule.
- Design several creative pieces to try.
- Simple landing page coding.
Create an AI marketing policy and communicate team expectations
The ethics of artificial intelligence and its policies are essential factors that every company must consider since artificial intelligence is more deeply integrated into daily operations. Creating an internal marketing policy is crucial in implementing technology responsibly and effectively.
As a marketing leader, you must ensure your team uses technology appropriately by defining what that means for your brand while building trust with customers and other stakeholders.